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Ben RobertsI currently work as a systems administrator for GSA Capital, managing Unix, Linux and Windows systems and providing IT support. I rely heavily on automation and open source technologies in my daily activities.

I previously worked as a Network Projects engineer for Atos in the Major Projects division. My role included design and implementation of LAN and WAN systems in Data Centre environments. My last project involved working on a major internal infrastructure overhaul spanning five sites for which I produced all the physical layer design and implementation.

Before then, I worked for Netcraft in Bath, while taking a year out from my degree studies. My roles included developing and running the SSL Server Survey, reviewing Automated Vulnerability Scan results, and performing occasional penetration tests against web applications for financial institutions.

I am a former graudate of ECS (University of Southampton), earning a First in Computer Science with Distributed Systems and Networks to the Masters level.

In my spare time, I am a member of the Sabayon Linux developers group, where I help maintain the Sabayon Community Repositories, help look after the project infrastructure, maintain the puppet-sabayon module, and dabble with package maintenance.

You can contact me via me@benroberts.net.

Recent Posts

ZFS testing on Sabayon

At the time of writing, Sabayon ships the stable version of ZFS-on-Linux, 0.7.13. A new 0.8.0 release dropped a couple weeks ago, with some long-awaited features:

  • Native ZFS encryption (including zero-knowledge send/recv support for off-site backups)
  • SSD TRIM support
  • Direct IO

Given the major changes to the code and this is a point-zero release, Sabayon is not yet shipping 0.8.0 in the main repositories, and probably won’t be for a while yet to come. In the meantime, if you want to test the new features, we have a new ZFS SCR repository available. This contains the latest zfs and zfs-kmod packages for the current Sabayon kernel (5.0).

If you’d like to try this for yourself, the commands required to install ZFS-on-Linux on Sabayon are:

# Install the 5.0 kernel, if you've not already done so
kernel-switcher linux-sabayon:5.0 -a
# Enable the ZFS SCR repository
enman enable zfs
equo update zfs
# Install the ZFS packages
equo install zfs zfs-kmod -a
# Enable ZFS services on startup
systemctl enable zfs.target
# Reboot to the new kernel

Note: SCR repositories are unofficial content and contain packages which may not have been tested, and use of packages within is at your own risk. You may wish to try them out on a test computer first. Beware also that ZFS 0.8.0 is new and may contain bugs which eat your data.

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